Arts & Culture


Biblical Brains

By Aryeh Lev Stollman

And the serpent was more cunning than all the creatures of the field that the Lord God created. And he said to the woman, “Did God say: You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”

— Genesis 3:1

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these threeRead More


Warts, Not War: Israeli Films Shift the Focus Away From the Mideast Conflict

By Saul Austerlitz

When it comes to directorial style, the winds continually shift between a more-is-more outlook — where camera and mise-en-scène run wild in an effort to draw attention to the means of production –– and a philosophy of austerity strongly opposed to showy or unnecessary camera movement. The latter has gained adherents recently, with theRead More


Synagogues Without Jews: Walking the Streets of Italy

By Richard Mcbee

Italian Jews have a proud 2,000-year history. They were there when the Second Temple still stood and Rome ruled the Mediterranean. More arrived as prisoners after the devastating destruction of the Temple, and soon there were close to 50,000 Jews in First- century Italy, almost half in Rome alone. And they created a vibrantRead More


Postmarks From the Edge Flitting From Odessa to Paris to Geneva and On

The Bride From Odessa: Stories By Edgardo Cozarinsky Translated by Nick Caistor Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 164 pages, $22. ——–A descendant of Russian Jews lured to Baron Maurice de Hirsch’s Entre Ríos colony in Argentina, Cozarinsky was born in Buenos Aires in 1937. A resident of Paris for the past 30 years, he nevertheless writesRead More


For a Good Cause: Teaching, Giving and Running

By Masha Leon

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and his wife, Nane Annan, managed a brief appearance at the September 20 VIP reception of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Annual Awards Dinner, honoring Sweden’s prime minister, Göran Persson. Rabbi Arthur Schneier, foundation president, warmly embraced the secretary general: “YouRead More


Egypt Confronts Double-edged Sword of Reform

By Oren Rawls

CAIRO — In a spartan office within sight of the Great Pyramids at Giza, the civic education clubs of the Taha Hussein Association are busy working to instill the values of citizenship in today’s Egyptian schoolchildren. With a glossy 48-page booklet already in classrooms, director Kamal Mougheeth and his colleagues are trying to mold modelRead More


U.S. Refraining From Criticism Of Gaza Foray

By Ori Nir

WASHINGTON — With their countries mounting parallel military offensives against terrorist strongholds in Iraq and Gaza, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a high-powered White House meeting Monday.Moments after the talks, reporters asked Netanyahu if Rice had urged IsraelRead More


Some Holiday: Iraq Troops Lack Rabbis, Safe Passage to Services

By Orly Halpern

Specialist Dan Freedman woke up at 0300 hours — 3 a.m. —September 15. It was dark and he was tired, but he was determined to get from his base at Camp Victory to Saddam Hussein’s former Republican Palace in the capital. He put on his uniform, grabbed his M-16 and went looking for his two Jewish comrades-in-arms to join him on an urgentRead More


Mel Gibson and the Demise Of Enlightened Skepticism

By Bernard Avishai

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” was out on video last week, and I still haven’t seen it. I probably never will, and judging by the surge in its worldwide box office receipts, I may prove to be the only such soul on God’s good earth. This is not a boycott. It’s just that as a 10-year-old boy in Montreal — a pupil atRead More


At Christian Rally for Israel, Robertson Pitches ‘Messiah’

By Judy Lash Balint

JERUSALEM — With 4,000 Christian guests from 70 countries set to participate, the city’s annual Sukkot march was billed as the centerpiece of a weeklong show of evangelical support for Israel. But then televangelist and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson opened his mouth and uncorked a can of theological worms guaranteed to makeRead More


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